1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am an Apprentice CNC Machinist. My daily tasks include setting, operating and programming CNC machines to produce parts. Internal interactions include working with other cell members to learn and operate the machines, as well as inspection members and manufacturing engineers when problems occur with jobs. some times of the year the work load is very high and often requires weekend working, but not all year round and there is the opportunity to take this time in lieu later in the year.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
So far I have learnt to set and operate CNC grinding machines; set, operate and program CNC turning machines; set operate CNC milling machines. I have yet to join the inspection team and production services team to learn skills there. I am working towards a level 3 NVQ in mechanical manufacturing engineering. Other training has also been provided by the company, mostly for safety, however some skills such as global dimensioning and tolerance training has been provided which has proved very useful.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The role is very engaging because when I help to make parts, at F1 race weekends I can say that I have been involved in helping create the engines that power the cars round the track, whether it be small components or large components. The company often puts on events to treat its employees which definitely boosts morale of workers.
4. How valued do you feel by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains?
I am often told that the company is employing many apprentices so that we can learn the knowledge from the current work force due to the increasing average age. This gives value to the apprenticeship because we are serving a specific purpose in the company rather than a cheap alternative to full time employees as some institutions may do.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
To begin with, we did not know exactly what we were doing with the NVQ side of the apprenticeship. It took a month for the assessor to come and see us, while this gave us a better understanding, we still didn't quite know what we had to do to complete each units. This was down to the training provider. After the assessor was changed, the organisation of the program became excellent, providing a calendar for meetings for the year ahead as well as helping set clear and achievable targets.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The assessor has specific dates on the calendar for visits. We are organised so we are each assigned days for regular visits to complete NVQ paperwork and coursework. The assessor has also arranged drop-in days so that he is able to answer any questions between those days. The assessor is very helpful and is willing to answer questions and give support.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
So far, all employees have been happy to help and very supportive with apprentices. They will show you what to do, answer any questions and will let you get on with the work if you feel confident enough to after they have shown you what to do. you are rarely forced to work as nobody wants to be chasing apprentices to work when they have their own work to be getting on with. That is good because it makes you feel less pressured, however it is often down to yourself to get some work done and if you don't do the work then other people will have to pick up for the slack, and won't want you to stay in that section because of your attitude. Therefore a good positive attitude to work is key and will bring the most support from everybody.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
As I live alone and commute from a nearby city, it sometimes can be a struggle to save much money at the end of each month, and have to be careful with my spending so that I do have left-over money before payday. The pay is excellent for an apprenticeship however, and I am happy to put up with a little financial struggle for a full time role at this company in the future.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
The company puts on events for the employees outside of the work, and occasionally inside work too for our enjoyment, including family events. The restaurant sometimes shows the F1 race live on a Sunday and allows all employees to come along and bring guests providing some food and refreshment too. There are also various teams and clubs that people have set-up for sports and leisure during lunch time or after work, such as running, cycling etc.
9a. Would you recommend Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Even if somebody wasn't particularly interested in the formula 1, it is easy to enjoy yourself while working for this company. Being a development and research company is particularly good for joining as apprentice because it allows us to get a much better understanding of the machines and the manufacturing processes.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains? *
Always be optimistic and show it. make sure you have plenty of questions to ask, you can never have too many; if only a handful of questions can be answered during interview then you'll have plenty to ask while working with the skilled people in the factory.
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